The Changing Household and Housing Characteristics of Irvine, 2000-2016



5 June, 2018




A comprehensive project submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree Master of Urban and Regional Planning, UCLA. 60 page report with figures, tables, references, links, and footnotes. Advised by Melissa Fox, Irvine City Council Member and Professor Michael Lens, UCLA.

Provides an overview of changes to Irvine's households and housing characteristics during the 2000 to 2016 time period and use other neighboring cities, Orange County, and California as context. Proposes a series of recommendations for the City of Irvine to follow to address its shortage of affordable housing while maintaining a high quality of life for its residents.

Key findings include that Irvine grew its population and housing stock at about three times the rate that Orange County did at 81.3% and 79% and bucked County and State trends as a majority of the new housing stock was multi-family. Despite the healthy amount of housing construction though, in real terms, gross rents grew by 25.6% and home values increased by 81.3%. This had the effect of lowering homeownership rates in the city from 60% in 2000 to 48.7% in 2016 and increasing the share of households that are mortgage and rent burdened across almost all income categories.

When looking for reasons for the skyrocketing costs of housing in Irvine, ... household incomes weren’t driving costs higher as they increased at lower levels than inflation and lower than several of its neighboring cities, Orange County, and California at large during the 2000 to 2016 time period. Neither were vacancy rates as they actually increased and ended higher than the countywide vacancy rate in 2016. ... a potential answer [emerges] when looking at the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). While Irvine and most other cities are on track to meet their moderate and high-income housing goals, no city in Orange County, including Irvine, is currently on track to meet their extremely/ very low and low income (affordable housing) goals and other cities were given far lower allocations than Irvine across the board.




ChangingHouseholdHousing CharacteristicsofIrvine20002016.pdf



Joshua Baum, “The Changing Household and Housing Characteristics of Irvine, 2000-2016,” I4E: Housing4All Digital Library, accessed January 16, 2019,

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